14 Cheap & Easy DIY Car Hacks To Solve All Your Frustrations

Posted on Friday, 26 April 2019

Facebook Twitter

Of course, owning a car makes our lives happier and easier - it gets us to work and the kids to school, we can satisfy our fast food cravings with a drive-thru, and we can take adventurous road trips - to name just a few.

On the other hand, maintaining a car also brings unwanted costs and plenty of frustrating issues.

We can’t save you petrol money, (we’re not magic unfortunately)… but we can show you loads of cheap and easy DIY car hacks that’ll solve all your frustrations, and save you cash on some of those irritating costs.

1.   Homemade non-chemical de-icer

Ever been in a rush and didn’t have time to spend ages scraping? Ever get in your car one morning and realise you’ve run out of de-icer and you can’t see a thing?

Try our homemade de-icer hack that can be whipped up in a minute - with just 2 ingredients!

There’s no need for scraping either - spray it straight onto the windscreen and within 2-3 minutes, you’ll be fully de-iced and ready to set off.

Instant de-icer 

What you need:

  • Rubbing alcohol (70% or 90%)
  • Water
  • Empty spray bottle

What to do:

  • Mix 2 parts rubbing alcohol and 1 part water into an empty spray bottle.
  • Spray it on and leave it for 2-3 minutes. There’s no need to scrape, the ice will simply melt away.


Keep some rubbing alcohol in your garage so if you run out in your car, you can rustle up some new de-icer in no time. You can also store spare bottles in your car and it won’t freeze!

Extra tip:

You can also use a bottle of 70% isopropyl alcohol, mixed with a few squirts of washing up liquid.

Preventative de-icer

If you want to stay one step ahead, we’ve also got a simple recipe for de-icer that will prevent ice on the windscreen.

What you need:

  • White or apple cider vinegar.
  • Empty spray bottle.

What to do:

  • Mix 3 parts vinegar and 1 part water into an empty spray bottle.
  • Before winter and the cold weather strikes, spray the preventative solution onto your windshield every week and the evening before ice or snow is forecast.

2.   DIY dent fixers

For small dents, you can avoid extortionate professional garage costs and repair simple body work at home!

Dents on a rounded edge / corner or ones that are deep and large, can usually be difficult to repair yourself. However, removing small dents and dings is actually really simple.

Here are few methods to try:

Use a hairdryer

What you need:

  • A hair dryer
  • Can of compressed air

What to do:

  • Heat the dent with a hairdryer on its highest setting (be careful not to hold it too close).
  • When the dent is hot, spray the same area with the compressed air.

 The very fast change in temperature should pop the dent right out!

Use a plunger

What you need:

  • Water
  • Sink plunger (a cup plunger)

What to do:

  • Wet the end of the plunger and the dent
  • Gently pull and repeat as many times as necessary to pop the dent out.

Use a vacuum cleaner

What you need:

  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Bucket / Pot
  • Tape

What to do:

  • Choose a pot with a small hole underneath it or create a hole in the base of the pot.
  • Tape the pot to the dent on the car.
  • Put the vacuum cleaner suction hose over the hole and turn it on.

The suction you’ve constructed should pop the dent out.

There’s nothing to lose trying to get a dent out yourself with normal household items. It’ll either work, saving you dollars or you’re just back to square one and no worse off!

3. Make your own phone holder

To create an easy and virtually free phone holder, all you need is a rubber band or hair band and a pen.

What to do:

  • Thread the rubber band or hair band through one of the top air vents in your car.
  • Use the pen to pull it out through one of the bottom vents.
  • Place your phone through the top and bottom loops to hold it in place.

 There you have it - the bands don’t get in the way of the screen and now you can see your GPS.

4. Get the most petrol in your tank 

Only hold the trigger half way when filling up your tank - this way you’ll get the most petrol - and the least air!

5. Avoid spilling coffee 

Place 2 lids on your take-away coffee cup. Spin the second lid so that it covers the hole of the first lid. This way both holes are covered, preventing a nightmare coffee spill.

6. Clean your headlights with toothpaste

If your headlights are looking foggy, simply buff your headlights with a cloth and some whitening toothpaste. (Toothpaste contains mild abrasives, these fill in any tiny scratches on your headlights).

Even if you don’t think they’re foggy, you’ll be surprised at how dirty they probably were after you try this toothpaste car hack.

7. Extra hanging space

There’s nothing more frustrating than not being able to hang up your dry cleaning properly on your way home. Or maybe there is… your grocery bags rolling around the back seats!

Our DIY hack gives you tonnes of extra hanging space and solves both of those annoyances.

Simply hook a carabiner clip from the headrest!

8. Remove scratches at home 

Getting a professional to remove scratches from your vehicle is another frustration that’ll clear out your wallet. We’ve got a few DIY fixes for your light scratches - helping you to avoid an expensive garage bill.

What to do:

  • Wash the scratches with a hose or soap and water, then dry it completely. The area needs to be completely clean.
  • Dampen a mircofibre cloth with water.
  • Apply whitening toothpaste to the cloth and rub this into the scratches with medium pressure and in a circular motion.
  • Rinse off all of the toothpaste.

You may need to repeat the process a couple more times, but it’s worth avoiding a trip to the repair shop.

9. Front seat bin

Do you struggle to keep the front of your car clean and tidy? Especially on long journeys, the rubbish can get out of control.

Keep a large cereal box in the front. Just pop the lid open and toss your waste in there. The car will stay tidy and it’s so simple to empty, without having to scramble around collecting the rubbish.

10. Don’t get caught on the wrong side of the pump

How many times have you pulled up to fill up your tank… and you’re on the wrong side?

Did you know? The arrow next to the petrol/gas gauge on your dashboard tells you the correct side. If your tank is on the left, the arrow will point left. You’ll never be caught out again now!

11. Use car mats to get out of the snow

Getting stuck in the snow in the middle of nowhere, is most drivers’ worst nightmare. When your car won’t move out of the ice and snow, the car mats from inside are your answer!

Turn over your car mats and place them underneath tyres that can’t get a grip. Once they’re in place, get back in and drive the car as far forward as possible.

You may only move slightly each time, so you can keep adjusting the mats back under the tyres - step-by-step, moving further into a safe spot each time.

12. Get rid of those bad smells 

Keeping your motor smelling fresh is a challenge in itself. It’s virtually impossible to keep that new car smell it arrived with. Animals, fast food, dirty shoes, drink spillages, smoke… they’re all culprits of stinking out your car, but we have a simple hack to get rid. 

These smells can end up deep into some parts like your car seat cushions and boot, so make sure to focus on these areas.

Simply dust the car upholstery with bicarbonate of soda. Let it soak in for a few hours then hoover it all up.

Bicarbonate of soda is also a fantastic stain remover! Sprinkle it onto a fresh spillage - once the moisture has absorbed, simply brush it off.

13. Never struggle getting your keys off or on their ring again

Putting your keys onto a new key ring can be a tricky task. Using your nails to prise it open, almost always ends with pinched skin or a broken nail.

This hack is as easy as they come. All you need is a staple remover - clamp it down between the rings on the keyring and they’ll pry right open.

14. Entertain your kids with the DIY tablet holder

“Are we nearly there yet?” exclamations will be a thing of the past with our DIY tablet holders.

Hang a plastic wallet from the front seat headrests and pop a tablet inside. Stick a film on and the kids will be entertain for hours on long car journeys.

Disclaimer: Please conduct any of these hacks at your own risk.

Subscribe to weekly blog updates

If you still have questions, you can find all of the answers in the following categories:

About your quote About your Car Having your car collected Dropping your car off Getting paid Help with the paperwork About CarTakeBack

Alternatively, you can search our website below:

Call Us

1800 678 175 during opening hours.

Standard call rates apply. Mobile costs may vary.

Get a Call Back

During opening hours request a call back by entering your telephone number below.
An operator will call you as soon as they become available.

Send an email to info@CarTakeBackAust.com or use the form below.

It helps if you tell us your registration or reference number if you have one.
During opening hours we'll usually respond within two hours.

Chat with us online now.

Online chat is compatible with most desktop and tablet computers, and may be available outside of our usual opening hours.